The number of persons who have obtained EU citizenship has increased by three per cent, from 706,400 in 2019 to 706,400 in 2020.

According to statistics published today by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), this increase occurred due to the higher number of foreigners obtaining Spanish citizenship, where more than 27,300 of them became Spanish citizens in 2019, followed by the Netherlands with +21,000, Sweden +16,000 and Portugal, +11,000.

“In contrast, the largest decreases in absolute terms were observed in France (-23,300 French citizenships granted compared with 2019), followed by Germany (-20,800), Belgium (-6,700), and Romania (-4,000),” data from Eurostat revealed.

In addition, as in 2019, about 85 per cent of those who obtained citizenship in one of the 27 EU countries were previously either stateless or third-country nationals.

Nearly 13 per cent of the total number of citizenships acquired were former citizens of another EU member state.

The three largest groups of EU citizens who have received citizenship of another EU member state in both 2018 and 2019 remain:

Romanians (28,7000 people)
Polish (12,500 people)
Italian (8,200 people)
Among the new EU nationals, Moroccans were the largest group, with 68,900 former Moroccans obtaining EU membership, of whom 86 per cent acquired the citizenship of Spain, Italy, and France.

Then come the Syrians with 50,200 people where 49 per cent of them gained Swedish citizenship, the Albanians with 40,500 of whom 70 per cent have received Italian citizenship.

In addition, 40 per cent of the 28,700 Romanians who became citizens of another EU country were granted Italian citizenship. On the other hand, 72 per cent of 24,100 Brazilians who became new EU nationals in 2020 obtained citizenship either in Italy or Portugal.

“Turks (23,700, 49 per cent acquired German citizenship), Ukrainians (18,100, 48 per cent acquired citizenship of Poland, Germany or Italy), Indians (16 400, 34 per cent acquired citizenship of Italy), Pakistanis (16,000, 35 per cent acquired citizenship of Italy) and Britons (16,000, 60 per cent acquired citizenship of Germany, France or Sweden),” the statistical office explains in this regard.

On the other hand, in the countries where the naturalisation rates were registered below one acquisition of citizenship per 100 non-citizen residents are:

Lithuania (0.2)
Estonia (0.4)
Czech Republic (0.5)
Austria (0.6)
Slovakia (0.7)
Bulgaria (0.8)
Ireland (0.9)
According to Eurostat, the naturalisation rate represents the ratio of the number of persons who have acquired the citizenship of a country during a year to the stock of non-resident residents in the same country at the beginning of the year.

In contrast, the highest naturalisation rates in 2020 were recorded in Sweden, which granted 8.6 citizenship per 100 non-citizen residents, Portugal 5.5 and the Netherlands 4.8 followed by Finland with 2.9, Italy with 2.6, and Spain and Belgium the same with 2.4

In terms of new citizenships, Italy has given citizenship to 131,800 people or 18 per cent, Spain 126,300 or 17 per cent, Germany 111,200 or 15 per cent of the total EU, France 86,500 or 12 per cent and Sweden 80,200 or 11 per cent which constitute 73 per cent of the new citizenships granted to the EU in 2020.

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